In today’s fast paced world, everything from work pressures to love-life demands (not to mention tax season!), can be a major cause of stress in our lives. In fact, living with constant stress has become the norm for most Americans. In honor of National Stress Awareness Day today, we at True Citrus are taking a moment to slow down, de-stress, and reset. Here are 10 healthy, proven ways you can use to do the same:
1. Laugh it Out: Laughter is, as they say, is the best medicine. A good laugh can be deeply relieving and has the power to rejuvenate your entire day. Take a moment to watch a funny YouTube video, talk to a friend who makes you giggle, or even force yourself to fake it – yes, even fake laughter has been proven to have it’s benefits on your health!
2. Loosen Up: Our bodies naturally stiffen from sitting in the car or at the desk all day, which in turn takes a toll on our minds. Take some time every now and then to loosen your limbs: stretching or attending a yoga class are wonderful ways to relieve physical tension. Or, take a page out of Taylor Swift’s book and just shake it off. That’s right, dance it out. Go catch your favorite band or turn on some music when you’re alone. Close your eyes, and let your body move however it wants. Consider it movement therapy – you’ll be shocked at the relief it brings.
3. Get Moving: It isn’t about the body, it’s about the head. Exercise and sweat immediately relieve feelings of anxiety, depression, and stress, and will help regulate your sleeping patterns. Take a short jog, hit the gym, or do anything that makes your heart pump – and notice if anything has shifted afterwards.
4. Vitamin D: A little sun on your skin can work wonders. Whether you choose to work in your garden, take a small hike, or simply eat lunch outside, getting yourself in the spring air will help calm nerves and restore a state of tranquility to your life. Remember to slab on the sunscreen too!
5. Read a Book: In order to read, the mind has to concentrate much more than it does to watch TV, scroll through Facebook, or even listen to music. This means it will be kept from wandering over to all of the thoughts that cause stress and anxiety in your life. Let yourself sink into a story for as little as 6 minutes(!), and your mind will ease up, your muscles will soften, and a feeling of relaxation will take over as you escape to another world.
6. Connect: Remembering that you aren’t the only one living with stress is an important part of controlling it. Reach out to friends, co-workers, or loved ones and let it out. Sometimes simply talking about your worries, problems, and concerns can go a long way.
7. Take Time To Breathe: Take a few moments away from the computer, phone, TV, or any other distraction. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing for a few minutes, letting your thoughts arise, and then letting them float away. You’ll be shocked at how instantly your mind calms. For more information, see our recent post on meditation.
8. Adjust your Diet: Everyone has different dietary needs these days, but taking the time to find out which foods are best for you can change your life tremendously. Explore which foods seem to best nourish your body and fuel your mind, and cut out those that make you feel tired, sluggish, or slow.
9. Take a Break: Taking time out from your daily routine is an important part of maintaining your mental equilibrium. Full-blown vacations are always a good way to reset, but small getaways – such as taking a walk during lunch or planning a solo adventure – are just as important to fit into your schedule.
10. Be Grateful: Studies have found that people who consciously focus on cultivating gratitude have reduced stress and greater emotional stability in their lives than those who do not. Take the time now and again to make a list of all the things you are grateful for – and remember what a powerful force an attitude of gratitude can be.
A little bit of stress can be a healthy motivating force in our lives, but too much stress can be debilitating. Taking a little bit of time every day to practice one of the above stress relieving techniques could completely change your life. Share these techniques with your friends in honor of National Stress Awareness Day!